Jim Braun receives ASHRAE's highest award

Jim Braun has received the F. Paul Anderson Award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). It is ASHRAE's highest award, given once a year for notable achievement in the HVAC industry.

James E. Braun is the Herrick Professor of Engineering, and the Director of the Center for High Performance Buildings at the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories. For more than 30 years, he has dedicated his life to advancing the science of high-performance buildings and the field of HVAC&R (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, and refrigeration).

His association with ASHRAE began early in his academic career. His Ph.D. work at the University of Wisconsin was sponsored by ASHRAE, and he authored a new chapter in the ASHRAE Handbook of HVAC Applications. After three years working at Johnson Controls, Braun came to Purdue to become an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and a researcher at Herrick Labs.

He is best known for his contributions in developing methods for optimal control in buildings and for automated fault detection and diagnostics (FDD) applied to HVAC&R equipment. His research has led to significant contributions to ASHRAE Handbooks, an HVAC&R textbook, over 200 archival journal and 200 conference papers, software tools, and 5 patents. He has mentored over 70 M.S. and Ph.D. students during his years at Purdue. At Herrick Labs, he established the Center for High Performance Buildings, a consortium of HVAC&R companies that support research and graduate student training on topics that further the mission of enabling higher performing buildings.

The award, given in person at ASHRAE's winter meeting in Las Vegas in January 2022, is particularly special for Braun, because its namesake -- heating and ventilation pioneer F. Paul Anderson -- was an 1890 graduate of Purdue Mechanical Engineering. The first recipient of the award, in 1932, was air-conditioning pioneer Willis Carrier.

"Jim Braun exemplifies the legacy of F. Paul Anderson," said Eckhard Groll, fellow ASHRAE member and current William E. and Florence E. Perry Head of Mechanical Engineering, and Reilly Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "He has shown his dedication to large-scale, impactful advances in building operations research and technology. The Center for High Performance Buildings, coupled with his research accomplishments, service contributions, educational programs and the many students he has mentored, provide a strong legacy in this field."